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World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December, this year the National AIDS Trust (NAT) is challenging people to rethink outdated stereotypes, challenge myths and be positive about HIV, with the 'Think Positive: Rethink HIV' campaign.

HIV is a virus which attacks the immune system, and weakens the ability to fight infections and disease. It's most commonly caught by having sex without a condom. It can also be passed on by sharing infected needles and from an HIV-positive mother to her child during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.

Today, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. Despite this, each year in the UK around 6,000 people are diagnosed with HIV.

Dr Marc Rowland, a local GP and Chair of NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The best way to prevent HIV is to use a condom for sex and to never share needles or other injecting equipment. It’s important to be in control of your sexual health and know how to protect yourself and others from HIV.

“If you may be at risk, HIV testing is available on request at all Lewisham GP practices and sexual health clinics, and results and advice are confidential.

“Many advances have been made in HIV treatment and getting tested early will provide more effective treatment against the virus, improving chances of a healthier and longer life but it’s simpler if you can avoid catching it in the first place”.

​There are many ways you can get involved and raise money to support World AIDS Day. Take part in the myth-busting bake sale – the ultimate competition to spread icing, not ignorance, by baking treats that tell the real story about HIV. Or simply wear a red ribbon, the universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV. You can show your support and purchase through the NAT shop. ​

For more information about HIV testing in Lewisham please visit this link.​